PP2GP2-Global Philosophy 2

Module Provider: Philosophy
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Shalini Sinha

Email: shalini.sinha@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This module introduces students to the philosophical investigation of contemporary global issues from a cross-cultural perspective. Some of the questions we will investigate include: What is the self?  Is there such a thing at all? How are gendered selves and identities constituted and experienced? Are such identities desirable? What sorts of rationalities underpin capitalism? What is money and what is the nature of debt? Can debt and money be eliminated? Is war just a form of social sacrifice? Do non-violent political action and ‘terrorism’ meet in the ethics of self-sacrifice that underpin them? We will examine these issues philosophically through cross-cultural conversations between Buddhist philosophers, including the Buddha, the Dalai Lama, and Thich Nhat Hanh, Indian philosophers such as Gandhi, African thinkers such as Frantz Fanon, Islamic philosophy and feminist and Continental philosophers such as Judith Butler, Theodore Adorno and Jean-Paul Sartre.


This module encourages students to develop ways of doing philosophy that are both inclusive and cosmopolitan by reflecting on contemporary global issues from the philosophical perspective of a variety of cultures and religions, and diverse gender and racial groups. Students will examine current debates in global philosophy, cultivate skills in oral and written argument and develop a sense of how a conversation between different philosophical traditions is both possible and warranted, and how dialogical philosophical approaches can be developed to investigate problems and issues in multicultural societies in a globalized political economy.  This module will build on the introduction of cross-cultural philosophical perspectives in PP1PWR and the introduction to feminist and other ‘radical’ philosophies in PP1RA.

Assessable learning outcomes:

Students will gain competency in the core concepts, theories, and methodologies of a range of cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approaches to contemporary global issues.  They will learn to engage in cross-cultural philosophical dialogue using the tools of non-western, analytical and continental traditions of philosophy and learn to critically apply these to problems of global relevance. In doing so, students will learn skills of argumentation and presentation and come to acquire skills of research and enquiry by designing their seminar presentations, undertaking research for coursework essays, and learn to critically appraise what they learn. They will develop personal effectiveness and self-awareness by learning to communicate in one-to-one discussions, and in group discussions in seminars and lectures using a range of means (speaking, essay-writing, presenting and designing slides).  Students will learn to reflect critically on their progress, their strengths and weaknesses, and the goals they wish to achieve. 

Additional outcomes:

This module encourages students to approach social and civic responsibilities through values of inclusiveness and diversity by addressing the perspectives of different genders, races and cultures on a host of contemporary issues.  It gives students an opportunity to enhance their multicultural awareness and intercultural competencies by considering cross-cultural approaches in the study of philosophy and applied philosophy.

Outline content:

Topics covered on the module will typically include: the metaphysics, phenomenology, and ethics of self and identity, broadly conceived, and of gender and race identity in particular, from Buddhist, African, Feminist, and Continental perspectives; the critique of reason and capitalism in Gandhi and contemporary Continental philosophy; conceptions of debt and money in Indian and Continental philosophy and anthropology; the ethics and politics of fear and self-sacrifice in non-violent political action, war and ‘terrorism’ from Gandhi to Buddhist self-immolation and the political actions of al-Qaeda.

Global context:

This module will situate students’ understanding of ‘Philosophy’ in a global context and develop an understanding of the diverse ways there are of doing philosophy in an increasingly globalized world. It will greatly enhance the resources students have for developing intercultural competencies in a global context.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module is taught by project supervision. Students are expected to attend 10 hours of meetings with their supervisor (in groups). All students are required to write one essay from a list of questions supplied by the module convenor. Students are encouraged to be active in all meetings, asking questions and trying to answer the questions posed by others. A reading list and sample questions will be given out at the start of the course.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Project Supervision 10
Guided independent study 90
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:

1 x written assignment, including essay

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:

    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Written assignment, to be completed in August/September

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 19 September 2017

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